Am I dying or what?
February 8, 2012 3:47 PM Subscribe
How do you know when to seek medical attention for persistent headaches?
posted by Sara C. to health & fitness (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've had a headache for the last two weeks (at least).
At first I thought I must be dehydrated due to the dry winter air, so I made sure to drink extra water. The headaches did not go away.
Then I thought it must be because I'm drinking more caffeine then usual, so I went back down to my usual one cup a day (from, like, maybe two cups per or a cup and a couple diet cokes). The headaches did not go away, even after waiting a week or so for any residual caffeine withdrawal effects to die down.
Then I thought it must be because I'm not getting enough sleep, so I made sure to get eight hours a night if at all possible. The headaches did not go away.
Now it's been a few weeks, and I'm starting to get worried. It's a "front of the head" sort of headache. Most of the time it's relatively mild, but other times it can be difficult to gather my thoughts. A few times I've been in so much pain I felt nauseated. Sometimes I feel a little tongue-tied, but I'm not aphasic or anything as far as I know. I don't see auras and am not oversensitive to light or sound. It tends to kick in during the afternoon (hence why at first I thought it was caffeine related). Advil helps, but it feels wrong to just take an advil every day for weeks on end.
I'm fairly sure this is being caused by stress. I'm at the end of a particularly burnout-inducing job that has involved 14 hour days sitting at a desk under fluorescent lights with no breaks, almost no ability to get up and walk around, in a bullpen office where I tend to be on a hair-trigger due to unpleasant coworkers. So, y'know, chronic headaches would be par for the course.
The only reason I'm concerned about it is that, after said job is over next week, I'm going on vacation to Istanbul. I don't really want to have an aneurism on a 10 hour trans-atlantic flight, or suddenly start having scary neuro problems in Turkey. Also, I don't have health insurance. (Yes, after I get back from my vacation, if this is still a thing, I plan to see a doctor anyhow.)
I'm not allergic to anything, not prone to migraines, don't have any substance abuse problems, etc etc etc. I'm a pretty healthy person, on the whole. The headache has been going on long enough that it's probably not menstrual cycle related.
Tell me, mefites: am I gonna live?